With a record number of people expected to depart Portland International Airport (PDX) during the 2019 spring break travel season, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provided tips and advice to make the travel experience go smoothly. TSA also recommended local residents apply for TSA Pre✓® during the month of April at a temporary enrollment office that is open at PDX April 1 – 26, 2019.
Nationwide, TSA projects to see a three percent increase in the number of passengers screened through its security checkpoints during the traditional spring break travel period. At PDX, passenger volumes have been increasing since mid-March and security checkpoint operations will remain busy through late April.
TSA at PDX will be adequately staffed and prepared for the rise in passenger volumes during the spring break period. The busiest days are projected to be Thursdays and Fridays as well as Sundays and Monday when the average number of departing passengers will be 30,000 per day. At other times of the year, on average, TSA at PDX screens about 25,000 passengers a day. The busiest times of day at the security checkpoint are projected to be:
4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
TSA advises passengers to arrive at the airport two hours prior to their flight’s departure. During busy travel periods, each step of the airline travel process from parking, checking in and checking a bag, clearing security and arriving at the departure gate may take extra time. Airlines are routinely boarding domestic flights 40 minutes prior to flight departure, so planning ahead is key.
Passengers play an important role in the security process. TSA has a variety of resources to help travelers simplify their travel experience and prepare for a smooth trip through the security checkpoint. Here are some helpful TSA tools and travel tips:
• Unpack your bag before you pack it. By unpacking your bag fully at home, you will avoid bringing items to the airport that are not allowed past the security checkpoint. The most common prohibited items TSA officers see in carry-on luggage include items with a blade and liquids and gels in excess of 3.4 ounces or 100 ml.
Remove electronics larger than a cell phone from carry-on bag. Carry-on baggage screening procedures are in place in general screening lanes at all airports across the country including PDX. The procedures require travelers to place all electronic devices larger than a cell phone - including tablets, e-readers and camera - in bins for x-ray screening. The electronics should be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for several years.
• Remove 3-1-1 bag from carry-on. Travelers should remove their one-quart bag of travel-size liquids from their carry-on bag. Place the bag in a bin by itself for x-ray screening.
• Tweet or Message “AskTSA.” Issues with receiving TSA Pre✓®? Unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag? Get real-time assistance by contacting TSA on social media. Message or tweet questions or comments to AskTSA weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST and weekends from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.
• Can I Bring? Want more information on what you can travel with, use the TSA mobile app, myTSA, or visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all
For people who are interested in applying for TSA Pre✓®, they can visit the temporary enrollment office located in the PDX baggage claim area, adjacent to carousel #2. The office will be open weekdays through Friday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
An in-person visit to the enrollment center is required to complete the application process. Applicants must bring a current U.S. passport or a driver license and a certified copy of a birth certificate. Fingerprints will be collected at the enrollment office.
Travelers eligible for the popular TSA Pre✓® screening program can leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt during when going through the security checkpoint. At more than 200 airports including PDX that operate dedicated TSA Pre✓® lanes, travelers can also leave their laptops, electronics larger than a cell phone and travel-size liquids in their carry-on luggage during the security checkpoint screening process.
With TSA projecting that 2019 will be the busiest summer on record, now is the time to apply for TSA Pre✓®. During the first three months of 2019, 92% of TSA Pre✓®-eligible passengers waited less than five minutes to be screened through security checkpoints nationwide.
Children 12 and under are permitted to use the TSA Pre✓® lane when traveling with an eligible parent or guardian. Sixty-five airlines participate in TSA Pre✓®, giving travelers even more options and reasons to enroll in the program.
People are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to apply for TSA Pre✓® at PDX. Start by visiting www.tsa.gov/precheck, select “Apply Now,” follow the online prompts and select “PDX” as the enrollment location. Appointment availability increases significantly starting April 8 through the end of the month.